Two months ago, Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s outgoing president of sales and development, came to Silicon Valley Community Foundation with a unique vision for coordinating a charitable element to the American Ultimate Disc League’s (AUDL) national championship weekend. His goal was to bring the region’s leaders in technology, venture capital, sports and media together in a friendly disc-throwing competition to raise $1 million for charity.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Caitlin Bayly and Margaret Wellik, Development Associates
This was an ambitious goal, but Lloyd was determined. The sport of Ultimate has an underlying theme referred to as “spirit of the game,” meaning that sportsmanship, integrity, inclusiveness and community trump winning at any cost. Lloyd tapped into this “spirit” to benefit the local community through the AUDL $1 million Ultimate Spirit Challenge.
In the weeks leading up to the AUDL championship weekend, Lloyd and his friends recruited participants while SVCF worked on the charitable component of the Spirit Challenge. Lightspeed Ventures, Nationwide, Bain, EMC, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard were a few of the corporate teams that joined the fun.
In total, 26 teams registered and each made an initial gift of $5,000 to a 501(c)(3) charity of their choice. An anonymous “AUDL Superfan” generously matched the $5,000 gifts for each team. The teams’ friendly competition to raise money was tracked on the AUDL Spirit Challenge fundraising page.
During the AUDL championship on Aug. 8 and 9 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, the Spirit Challenge teams were paired with professional Ultimate players to compete in a series of throwing challenges. Competitors rode from a 300-foot zipline as part of a moving target challenge, and competed on the field for accuracy and distance of their throws. Spectators were also able to join in the fun and ride the zipline.
At the end of the weekend, two teams tied for first place and both were awarded an additional $5,000 for their chosen charities: Early Recognition is Critical (E.R.I.C.) and Ultimate Peace. See a full list of Spirit Challenge teams and the charities they chose to support on the Spirit Challenge fundraising page.
So far, more than $740,000 has been raised for the Spirit Challenge – and there’s still time to give. Donors can contribute online to a favorite team or cause before the fundraising period closes on Monday, Aug. 17.
Thanks to Rob Lloyd for his initial vision and passion, and to everyone who has supported the Spirit Challenge!